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Examples of wrong views of the tenth commandment
95,1. As the law says, we know that it prohibits a desire or longing. But now it comes to mind: some man is impoverished while his neighbor is a rich man. The wife of the neighbor, as the neighbor of our poor man, has, as he knows, a compassionate and benevolent heart. Our poor man evidently gets a longing for the benevolent wife of his neighbor, and desires to silence his hunger. Question, did he sin or not? He obviously had a desire and longing for the wife of his neighbor. But since it says: Thou shalt have no desire for the wife of thy neighbor, who can justifiably declare this reasonable desire of the poor as sinful? For under "no desire, no longing," surely every desire and every longing must be forbidden, since in the word "none" there allows no exception whatsoever. So, therefore, a desire of whatever kind must be forbidden.
95,2. Does not this make it seem as if the Lord thereby wished to divert the female sex from charity, according to which, then, every good deed that a housewife gives to a poor man, is to be regarded as a sin which completely runs counter to the Divine command?
95,3. But is it possible to think of such an absurd command coming from the supreme love of the Lord? It could be said here, of course, that the commandment is limited only to carnal, sensual desire. But I say: It is good, so if it should be thus, then just allow me to make some remarks. If these remarks kill the "should be thus", then every one of us must be content to take another course in determining this commandment. And so you hear the remarks.
95,4. The commandment should therefore only prohibit a sensual carnal desire. Good, I say, but ask: Is there a certain woman in the command, or are all the women included in the commandment, or are there certain natural exceptions?
95,5. Suppose several neighbors have old, no longer attractive women. We can be assured that these neighbors no longer have a carnal desire for both their wives. Accordingly, only the young women should be understood, and only if they are beautiful and charming. Surely even men who are old and full of days, will not be much tortured by carnal sensual desires towards whatever women of their neighbors.
95,6. From this, however, we see that this law is valid only under certain conditions. So the law has gaps and thus has no general validity. For where nature already makes exceptions and a law does not even have the full natural validity, how should it extend to the spiritual? If you cannot understand this, just break off a tree and see if it will then grow and bear fruit.
95,7. But a Divine law must surely be so constituted that its blissful validity is "lawful" for all eternity. If, however, in the course of the short earthly existence, it is naturally pushed beyond the applicable limits, and thus already ceases to be active in the natural state of man, what shall it then be for eternity? Is not every law of God founded in His infinite love? But what is it afterwards, when such a law is made invalid? Is this something different from what one might claim that Divine love, under certain circumstances, also ceases to be valid for man?
95,8. But this is also the basis of the sad faith of your pagan-Christian side, according to which the love of God lasts only as long as man lives in this world. Once he has died in his body and merely exists there in soul and spirit, the immutable, terribly strict, punitive angry righteousness of God takes immediate effect, in which there is no talk of everlasting love and mercy.
95,9. If man, through his way of life, deserves heaven, he will not go to heaven because of the Divine love, but only according to the Divine justice, of course, through his own good and pleasing mercy. But if man has not lived thus, eternal damnation is present immediately, from which salvation is never to be expected. In other words, man say that there is some stupid Father who has set up a law in His household against His children, which means:
95,10. I give complete freedom to all my children from birth until their seventh year. During this time you should enjoy all my love without distinction. After the seventh year, however, I withdraw my love from all the children and from then on I either want to judge you or make you happy. Those who, as minor children, have kept my heavy laws, from the seventh year onwards shall enjoy their highest pleasure. But those who, in the course of the seven years, have not completely improved one atom according to my great law, from now on are to be forever cursed and rejected from my, the father's, house. - Say, what would you say to such a cruel donkey of a father? Would not that be more than the most shameful tyranny of all tyrants?
95,11. But if you were to find such a man indescribably foolish, bad, and evil, how horribly nonsensical must those men be who can ascribe even far worse things to God, who is the Supreme Love and Wisdom Himself!
95,12. What did the Lord do on the cross as the sole Divine Wisdom, since, by manner of speech, He was as if separated from the eternal Love? He, as Wisdom, and as such the foundation of all righteousness, turned Himself to the Father or the eternal Love, not calling for just vengeance, but He implores Love to forgive all these abusers, including the high priests and Pharisees their deeds, for they did not know what they were doing!
95,13. So this is what Divine justice does for itself. Should the infinite Divine Love then begin to condemn where the Divine justice implores the still infinitely more merciful Love for mercy?
95,14. If one does not accept that the Lord was really serious in His request, and says that He has only done so as an example, does one not then make of the Lord a hypocrite, by only seeming make Him ask for forgiveness on the cross, but secretly man see in Him the irrepressible revenge, according to which He has long condemned all these evildoers to the most intense hellish fire?
95,15. O world! O people! O most terrible nonsense that could ever be conceived in all infinity and eternity! Is it possible to think of something more shameful than to make the Lord on the cross a liar, a false preacher, a traitor, and thus a universal con artist, for the false, though temporally lucrative, justification of hell? From whose mouth as alone from that of the arch-satan can such doctrine and words come?
95,16. I think it is enough here, too, to bring you to the realization of what abominations may come from a very wrong interpretation and exegesis of a Divine law. That it is all the same with you in the world, you can already grasp with your own hands. But why it is so, for what reason, you did not know and could not know; for this law's knot was too confused, and no one could ever fully loosen this knot.
95,17. Therefore, the Lord had mercy on you, and let you in the sun, since it is certainly light enough, announces to you the true solution of this knot, so that you may have insight into the general cause of all evil and darkness.
95,18. It will of course be said: Yes, how can so much evil depend on the misunderstanding of the Ten Commandments of Moses?
95,19. I think: Because these ten commandments are given by God and carry in themselves the whole infinite order of God Himself.
95,20. Therefore, whoever would step out of the Divine order in one point or another, no longer remains in the Divine because it is equal to a straight path. If somebody deviates from this path, can he say: I have deviated only a quarter, fifth, seventh or tenth of the way? Certainly not. For as he leaves the path in the least, he has already departed from the whole way. If he does not wish to return, it will certainly be possible to assert that the single point on the way, where the wanderer deviated from it, had removed the wanderer from the whole way.
95,21. And so it is with every single part of the Divine law. It will not be easy to find someone who would have terribly sinned against every law, as this almost impossible. But it is enough if someone would sin at a point and then insist. He thus departs from the whole law, and if he does not want it and the Lord does not want to help him, he would never return to the way of the law or the Divine order. And so you may also be assured that most of the evils of the world unfortunately probably originate from selfish and malicious misunderstanding, or rather from the malicious distortion of the meaning of these last two Divine commandments.
95,22. But we have now also sufficiently revealed the ridiculousness and false interpretations of this commandment; Therefore, let us proceed to the right meaning of this law, in which light you will all see these foolish things incomparably brighter enlightened.
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